How do your facial features affect the perceived size of your nose?

By: Dr. Sean Delaney


When we consider the size of a nose, we think about its absolute size. However, it is not the absolute size of the nose that matters. Instead, we should think about the relative size of the nose compared to the face and other facial features. For instance, a nose that may appear too large in a small individual may seem “just right” in a larger person with a larger overall face.

The size and configuration of other non-nasal features can also impact the perceived size of a nose. For example, when observing the nose from the side, the forehead and chin frame the nose. Therefore, the relative size and shape of the facial features can act as an optical illusion and trick our brain into thinking the nose is larger or smaller.

Referencing the above image, the illustration demonstrates three subjects with the same sized nose and different forehead and chin sizes and configurations. You can see that as the forehead becomes more sloped and as the chin slopes backwards, the nose appears relatively larger.

During a rhinoplasty consultation we also assess these facial features. An overly large forehead or brow can be reduced. A sloped forehead can be augmented with fat transfer or fillers. Similarly, the chin can be enlarged or reduced. While most patients seeking rhinoplasty consultation may not have considered that they could benefit from procedures elsewhere on the face, we have found that improving facial proportions can further enhance a rhinoplasty outcome.

When considering rhinoplasty, be sure to consult with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon for a comprehensive rhinoplasty consultation and explanation of treatment options.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.